The mass of tulip bulbs in my garden bucket are all brown, covered in dirt. You can't tell from these what color the flower will bloom. Who we are in Christ will be reflected by how we bloom, the ways we give and love and serve.
In the hustle and bustle of our days, a pause is beneficial, to stop and consider how our being influences our doing.
"When Jesus challenges us not just to say, “Lord, Lord” but to mean it and to live it, it is this Jesus, full of compassion and power, who is issuing that challenge. When Jesus calls us to be different—to embrace upside-down values, to pursue a different kind of love, to be marked by integrity, and to live a life of obedience—it is this Jesus who is calling us."
We will spend our life learning and striving for this life. One where good works flow from a good heart.
In The Christian Manifesto, Pastor Begg takes us through the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6 to teach us how to live with a heart and hands for Christ.
The Christian Manifesto by Alistair Begg | Book Review
Purpose of the Book
The author writes this book to invite you to the best possible life. It’s not a gimmick. It’s a personal and relational life outlined for us in Jesus’ sermon on the plain, found in Luke 6:20-49.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 An Invitation to Happiness CHAPTER 2 A Reversal of Values CHAPTER 3 An Exceptional Kind of Love CHAPTER 4 What the Golden Rule Really Means CHAPTER 5 Generous Forgiveness CHAPTER 6 A Life of Integrity CHAPTER 7 A Genuine Desire to Obey CHAPTER 8 The Heart of our King
Each chapter takes us through a segment of Jesus’ sermon on the plain in Luke 6. He provides us with the context of the passage, helps us understand the teaching, and unpacks how we can take these truths into our lives today.
What Do We Value?
In chapter two, the author provides two lists and asks what we would rather choose.
List A: poor, hungry, sad, hated
List B: rich, well fed, happy, popular
What would you pick?
Reading the lists illustrates a pretty humbling contrast.
It’s not that my personal goals are to be rich and popular, but honestly, I don’t love being hated by others, nor counting every penny to make sure my family has something to eat.
But Jesus teaches us, “blessed are you when…”
When I’m dependent upon him to meet my needs.
I think back to our time in East Africa when every single time we got into a vehicle, we stopped to pray. When guests would leave to travel, we paused to ask for protection and traveling mercies. There were numerous reasons why traveling was treacherous: Horrendous accidents as poorly maintained buses fly by along the highways, gangs lay in wait after dark, wild animals saunter around and uniforms stop you to request a little tip for their morning coffee.
However, once we came back to Canada this practice pretty much disappeared.
Getting from one place to another seems less risky. (Although my prayers do ramp up significantly during our crazy winters).
I really have to consider time and again how reliant I am on myself and systems to keep me safe or healthy, rather than on the Lord. Use wisdom and good practice, for sure, but first entrusting myself and those in my care to the One who is sovereign over all.
When it comes to emotions, we’re also prone to thinking that sadness is something bad, tears are for the weak. Yet, how can we feel true joy and happiness if we don’t also experience grief and sorrow. How will we long for heaven if we don’t know the pain and futility of this broken world to provide our answers.
Our great hope is in Christ, though we keep him on the bench when he’s ready, willing, and beyond able to be in the game.
This journey through Luke 6 is an invitation to live a counter-cultural life in Christ. If you’ve felt the Lord leading you to a new lifestyle or have been searching for how to be a light in this darkness, this resource will help you understand and show you the difference we, as his disciples, can be.
AND, you can also download a free study guide here!
# of Pages: 112
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
Listen to the Teaching
Although I'm an advocate for reading books, there's certainly a time and place for us to sit back and attentively listen, so I found this sermon from Pastor Begg teaching on Luke 6 to share with you.
(Note it's a 3 part series and this is part one.)
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Scriptures About Following Christ
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.(1 Pe 2:21)
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mt 16:24)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8:12)
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (1 Jn 2:3-4)
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Cor 11:1)
And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mt 10:22)
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*A big thanks to the Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to post an honest review!